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Learn More: Past Enhancing Diversity Seminar Speakers

Fall 2018 Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series

The 2018 Enhancing Diversity Seminar series is designed to engage the campus community in dialogue around sensitive topics and issues related to diversity, campus climate, equity, and inclusion. The Office for Diversity has invited Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff to present their research to the campus community. 

Because of the diversity in experience, motivation, and knowledge in the campus community, the Office for Diversity offers sessions for participants with a variety of skill levels and knowledge about diversity. To help participants find presentations that match their interests and facilitate their personal and professional development, presenters have indicated experience and knowledge level(s) for their sessions:

  1. Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity  
     
  2. Intermediate - Some to moderate experience, training, and/or personal reflection identifying and recognizing: personal bias and prejudices; how power and authority are distributed within organizational systems; and forms of privilege, oppression, and discrimination 
     
  3. Advanced - Substantial experience, training, and/or personal reflection resulting in a willingness to engage in respectful discussions and discourse about power, privilege, oppression, and discrimination; the ability to function effectively in a multicultural society; the ability to understand conflict from multiple viewpoints; and the willingness to explore personal bias and prejudices

Presentations are structured to encourage participants to engage in self-reflection and to interact with peers and the presenter(s). Please check with your supervisor to determine whether any presentations count towards your specific training and professional development requirements. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.





October 24: Making Visible a Crisis of Representation -- The Absence of Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)    

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenter: Dr. Mary Alfred, Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, College of Education and Human Department

Audience Knowledge: Intermediate - Some to moderate experience, training, and/or personal reflection identifying and recognizing: personal bias and prejudices; how power and authority are distributed within organizational systems; and forms of privilege, oppression, and discrimination 

Program Description: The under-representation of people of color in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has global implications for the economy of the United States. Critical scholars argue that what started as a national concern in STEM has now escalated to crisis point. The crisis is more pronounced when we examine the participation rate of Black and Hispanic women and explore how the intersectionality of their identities contribute to their experiences in academia and the workplace.  Addressing the under-representation of women and racial minorities in STEM is not only an economic issue; it is also a social justice issue. The purpose of this presentation is to explore representation among women of color in STEM, make visible encountered challenges, and identify organizational support systems for career development and advancement.

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available here. If you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.

 

October 25: Incorporating World Englishes Through Consciousness-Raising Activities into a Teacher Education Program   

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenters: Dr. Quentin Dixon, Associate Professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Development and Roya Pashmforoosh, Ph.D candidate, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development

Audience Knowledge: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity

Program Description: Despite the prominent status of World Englishes, only a few studies have been done to promote the awareness of pre-service teachers of the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists in English and its users today (e.g., Kubota, 2001; Suzuki, 2011). To bridge this gap, this study sought to reflect on how pre-service teachers’ awareness can be enhanced regarding the emerging varieties of English. The participants were pre-service teachers who were enrolled in an undergraduate university course entitled “Language Acquisition and Development.” A series of six online awareness-raising activities throughout the semester were used to promote the teachers’ understanding of World Englishes. The second group received regular curriculum without any instruction pertaining to World Englishes. For the first group of teachers, the six activities were accessed via the asynchronous discussion forum, which were implemented in alignment with the curriculum and the course instructor’s syllabus. Post-study interviews and follow-up reflection practice were used to assess pre-service teachers’ awareness. Inductive analysis of the reflection papers yielded information regarding which activities were more successful in promoting equity for speakers of non-native and/or non-“standard” varieties of English. The incorporation of awareness-raising activities helped pre-service teachers (re)shape their perceptions of different varieties of English and English speakers. The intervention promoted: (1) pre-service teachers’ awareness of the status of World Englishes; (2) pre-service teachers’ sensitivity toward cultural and linguistic diversity; and (3) pre-service teachers’ recognition of the legitimacy of emerging varieties of English. The findings contribute to reappraisal of ELT practices and the premises underpinning teaching World Englishes. 

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available here. If you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.

 


October 31: Latinx Mental Health -- Current Trends, Sociopolitical Factors, and Implications 

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenter: Dr. Raquel Botello, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Sociology, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Audience Knowledge: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity

Program Description: Like many other marginalized groups in the United States, stressors and possible mental health concerns have been on the rise for Latinx college students. In this presentation, and group discussion, participants will address and untangle the various layers of barriers, stress, and concerns uniquely experienced by college student with intersecting Latinx identities and how it impacts mental health and well-being. Aside from addressing the current trends in mental health of Latinx students, the focus of this session will be threefold: First, participants will gain knowledge of the impact of culture as both a resource, strength and coping mechanism and also as a potential stressor. Participants will take away a brief understanding of the complex impact of prejudice, minority stress, bicultural navigation, acculturation gap, and microaggressions on mental health concerns and educational outcomes of Latinx college students. Secondly, barriers for seeking help such as stigma of seeking help and lack of culturally competent treatment. Finally, as a group, we will discuss with Latinx students and how to increase dialogue and care around these topics. Participants of all experiences will gain useful knowledge, awareness and core skills in addressing mental health and referring students to resources.

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available here. If you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.

 


November 6: Muslim American Students at Texas A&M University   

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenter: Dr. Shaida Kalbasi, Instructional Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development

Audience Knowledge: Intermediate - Some to moderate experience, training, and/or personal reflection identifying and recognizing: personal bias and prejudices; how power and authority are distributed within organizational systems; and forms of privilege, oppression, and discrimination  

Program Description: Dr. Shaida Kalbasi will provide a review of the literature on the issues of discrimination on college campuses, research questions, goal of the study, research methods, and data collection. After explaining about the research, Dr. Kalbasi will talk about the experiences of Muslim American students on the Texas A&M campus and what future research studies can be done.  

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available hereIf you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.

 


November 8: Engineering a Forward-Thinking Approach to Cultural Competence and the Practice of Global Citizenship by Examining the Concept of Culture   

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenter: Yashwant Prakash Vyas, Graduate Student, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Audience Knowledge: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity

Program Description: The session examines the concept of culture in order to develop an understanding of cultural diversity and build an appreciation for it. It bridges the expanse people feel when encountering a multicultural setting or when experiencing rapid globalization. By demonstrating how similar world cultures often are, this talk will guide participants to an acceptance that humanity is not our only shared experience and that we have more in common. Once the bridge is crossed and the thinking begins to set in, the presenter will show the next road to embracing cultural diversity and developing cultural competence i.e. we also have differences that make us collectively more interesting, beautiful, and certainly much stronger when we learn to share our knowledge and perceptions of the world, both its problems and its potential. This talk is intended to expand participants’ cultural awareness and affirm their global citizenship. The talk is followed by Q&A and an interactive reflection and dialogue activity. This session should particularly benefit anyone working in a multicultural and/or international settings, and/or who wish to further their understanding of global citizenship.

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available here. If you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.


 
November 13: How and Why Libraries can be a Hub for Diversity on Today’s Campus   

Location & Time: Rudder 601 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Presenters: David Carlson, Dean, University Libraries and Patrick Zinn, Director of Marketing & Communications, University Libraries

Audience Knowledge: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity

Program Description: This presentation explores the opportunities an academic library has in playing a role in diversity efforts on their campus. The Texas A&M University Libraries see themselves as a "home away from home" for students, providing an opportunity to create spaces where all feel welcomed with messages of inclusion and understanding. This presentation will provide specific examples of how they activated their own voice by developing a wide-range of diversity programming designed to work in tandem with the University’s efforts to develop a more inclusive campus.

Registration: Registration for Texas A&M employees is available here. If you are not able to attend in person, register to LIVESTREAM. If you have any questions or issues with registration, please email diversity@tamu.edu or call 979-458-2905.